Academic and Professional Background

Academic Degrees

Catherine Sim has a PhD in Organizational and Cross-Cultural Psychology from the University of Vienna, Austria; an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, U.S.A.; a Master of Arts (Maîtrise) in Social Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts (Licence) in Psycholinguistics from the Université Paris X, France.


Languages Spoken

She is native speaker of English, fluent in French and Chinese (Mandarin, and the Cantonese, Chaozhou, and Fujian dialects), and has a good knowledge of German.


International Experience

Catherine lived and worked as a cross-cultural trainer and organizational change expert in Austria, China, France, the Netherlands, and the United States. Before leaving for Europe to pursue her higher education, Catherine had a successful sales career in Singapore. As an external relations executive, she worked with sellers from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and buyers from Brunei and Malaysia. She also built an insurance agency and was responsible for recruiting, training, and developing agents as well as sales and marketing. During this time, Cartherine received national and international awards for individual multi-million sales and was a member of the International Million Dollar Round Table (


Consulting Experience

Catherine has worked as an external consultant with companies such as Allergan, Autodesk, Ericsson, Flowserve, HP, Honeywell, Lucent Technologies, Medtronic, Nestlé, Pentair, Qualcomm, SAP, Shepell-FGI, and Western Digital to support their key position staffing and succession planning through skill and knowledge needs/gap analyses, developmental and selection assessments, training, and coaching.


Teaching Experience

Catherine has 18 years of experience in teaching seminars and graduate-level courses on organizational change and development, organizational theory, organizational behavior, international management, business negotiation and cross-cultural communication at universities in Europe, China, and the United States. Catherine was Academic Director for the Business, Language and Culture (BLC) program at the Shanghai Center of the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE). Before that, she was on the faculty of Thunderbird School of Global Management (U.S.A.), the School of Management at Alliant International University (U.S.A.), and the Universities of Graz, Linz, and Salzburg in Austria.


Research Experience

Catherine has published articles and presented at international conferences on cross-cultural management. She also chaired several doctoral dissertations on organizational development and related topics such as knowledge management.


Recent Publications

Tanzer, N. K., Van Katwyk, P. & Sim, C. Q. E. (2012). Angling for success: Uncovering leader motivation across Asia. HQ Asia, 2012 (4), 28-31.



“I can highly recommend SimTanzer LLC based on my experience at the City of Chula Vista. I hired Catherine to do leadership coaching with a new senior manager. Catherine provided a clear plan for the coaching, conducted a 360 degree feedback, established an individual development plan with performance measures and engaged in weekly and biweekly follow-up sessions and kept me apprised of progress throughout the process. Catherine demonstrated an excellent understanding of what my needs and goals were and developed an individual plan to uncover unrecognized potential and capabilities in our manager. I am certain that we will use Catherine again in the future.”


Kelley K. Bacon

Deputy City Manager

City of Chula Vista


“Catherine Sim provided outstanding leadership coaching services to the City. She was very tactful working with all levels of staff, executive to line, as she assessed individual strengths and areas of needed improvement. I was very impressed with the very apparent improvements I observed as a result of her coaching efforts.”


Gary Halbert

City Manager


“All the folks I talked with thought the workshop was a big success. I saw involvement and insight from all the stakeholders. We do have a great team and resources moving forward into this project. The diversity of the group is working to our benefit. The way you integrated the subject matter and format of the workshop created an environment of involvement. “


Ted Kautzman, P.E., Q.S.D.

Resident Engineer

County of San Diego


“It was very nice having you as our facilitator, I was impressed in how much you did to prepare for this and I look forward to future workshops.”


Michael Rissi
Project Engineer
Flatiron Construction Corp.


“Dr. Sim was an exceptional advisor to me when I was completing my graduate studies at Alliant International University. She served not only as a great teacher who really went the extra mile for her students, but also was a role model to many of the students and teachers due to her worldly experience in and outside the classroom. She has the unique ability to bring the best out of people. I would be happy to work with her again at anytime.”

Jim Scrivani, PhD

Senior Manager, Organizational Development



"I have known Catherine for over 10 years and have had the pleasure of working with her in several capacities; attending numerous courses that she has taught, working with her on independent projects, and being mentored and coached by her. As a professor, her knowledge and insights and endless effort and care she devotes to helping students successfully navigate through their education process is unparalleled as evidenced by the many years that she was voted “Best Student Advocate” by the student body. As coach and mentor, Catherine showed patience, understanding, prudence, and encouragement, which have helped tremendously in my development process. Her compassionate personality, devotion to her work, and knowledge and expertise in Leadership, Organizational Development, Coaching, and Cross-Cultural Training make her uniquely suited as a thought leader able to provide insightful guidance and advice in our field. I highly recommend Catherine as an experienced consultant/coach in these areas."

Bogdan Nita, MBA, PhD

Management Consultant, Organizational Surveys and Insights

Towers Watson


“I have known Dr. Sim for more than 10 years; she served as my advisor during my graduate program at Alliant International University, and remains my esteemed colleague.  Dr. Sim taught me how to assess an organization from all angles in an effective and efficient manner. In my job, I always revert to the foundation I acquired from Dr. Sim’s Organizational Theory and Change Management classes. If you are looking for a Consultant who is authentic and knowledgeable in the field, I strongly recommend Dr. Catherine Sim.”  


Claura Louison, PhD

Facility Manager, Organizational Development
New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation


"During the last 10 years, I have had the pleasure of working with Catherine in both academic and extracurricular settings. As one of her graduate students at Alliant International University, I found her to have an unconditional positive regard for others and a genuine interest in helping others achieve success which she demonstrated by providing the appropriate amount of empathy and objectivity. My appreciation for Catherine’s expertise as a coach and mentor further developed while she served on my dissertation committee. Her ability to stay current with the latest applied research and best practices in organizational culture and leadership is astounding and her teaching style is highly supportive and collaborative. Although Catherine’s experience in leading transformational change, facilitating cross-functional teaming, and guiding business negotiations is impressive, it is Catherine’s ability to communicate the essentials of her expertise in a clear and concise manner that I have found to be invaluable. I am confident that Catherine will bring tremendous value to any organization. I give Catherine my highest recommendation."

Brock Solano, MBA, PhD

Manager, People & Change Solutions



"Catherine is an exceptional professor and advisor. She was tough a grader, but extremely fair. She brought her professional experience into the classroom which helped us understand the real-world application of all the various theories we were taught. Catherine was also my dissertation advisor. I felt that she was the best choice for me because of my interests in Asian-Americans as well as the Global perspective on work-family conflict. Catherine has vast knowledge and experience in the global market which made her an irreplaceable resource for me during my dissertation process. Even though Catherine was no longer with Alliant International University during my dissertation process, she was always available to provide her expertise and mentorship."


Vanna Vuong, PhD

Senior HR Generalist

East West Bank


“I found Dr. Sim’s class on cross cultural negotiations to be one of the most interesting and useful classes while getting my MBA at Thunderbird. Her unique insights as well as the materials, exercises and simulations used in the class gave me a new level of learning about the complex world of negotiations as viewed from different cultural perspectives. I have used the lessons from her class well during my career.”


Adam Carstens, MBA

Director of Research

Hult International Business School


“Dr. Sim’s class on Cross-cultural Communication and Negotiation is one of the most practical and useful classes I've taken during my MBA study at Thunderbird School of Global Management. I found that the skills I learned from this class really helped me to negotiate successfully with suppliers from different cultures, which is key to global sourcing. I was also impressed by Dr. Sim's passion and consistent pursuit to her career while taking good care of her family. And I always think of Dr. Sim as a role model for working women who are pursuing career development and keeping work life balance!”

Cathy Shao, MBA

APAC Regional Category Lead


“Dr. Sim was a very passionate and encouraging mentor when I was completing my MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Out of all the MBA courses that I took, I would say that Dr. Sim’s class on cross-cultural communication and negotiation was one of the most influential courses for me personally. Working in multinational companies with people from all over the world, along with my expatriate experience in the Netherlands, I do believe that a good understanding of how to deal with cultural differences will help businesses to solve a lot of communication problems and hence significantly improve their operational efficiency. I also appreciate Dr. Sim’s coaching when I was at Thunderbird.”

Adam Li, MBA
Internal Audit Director, APAC
Johnson Controls, Inc.



Managing Partner

Catherine Sim, PhD, MBA



Academic Degrees

MBA in International Management, Thunderbird School of Global Management, U.S.A.

PhD in Organizational and Cross-Cultural Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria

Maȋtrise (MA) in Social Psychology, Université Paris X, France


Languages Spoken

English, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Chaozhou, Fujian), French, German


International Experience

Austria, China, France, Singapore, The Netherlands,  U.S.A.


Consulting Experience

Allergan, Autodesk, Ericsson, Flowserve, HP, Honeywell, Lucent Technologies, Medtronic, Nestlé, Pentair, Qualcomm, SAP, Shepell-FGI, UN Peacekeeping Forces, Western Digital, The City of Chula Vista



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